After her graduation from Puyallup high school in 2007, Lauren Adler immediately immersed herself into the political hype of the 2008 presidential election. Supporting then candidate Barack Obama, Adler became the youngest chair of the Democratic Party ever in the 25th legislative district, which Pierce College resides. After the election, Adler felt along with the insistence of her family that she needed to make a move out of the political scene and go to college.
“I was tired of playing personal politics, I was young so I got pushed around a lot and the interpersonal politics became ridiculous. I wanted to be around people my age,” Adler said.
So, Adler decided to come to Pierce College in winter 2009, and became employed as the vice president for government concerns that spring. Within the next year, Adler was hired as the student body president.
“In a perfect storm of all situations it seemed I had found myself in similar circumstances to the political life I left, except with people my own age,” Adler said.
Adler had her initial expectations surpassed working in the student life office, commenting on how professional the leadership roles at the college level were compared to all the other roles she had been involved in throughout high school.
As student body president, Adler’s duties included presiding over student council and student government meetings, serving on a total of 10 committees, administration relations and confer with the Board of Trustees. She oversees college policies and a variety of student budgets, which included the technology fee and services and activities fee. Adler served as president for two years, becoming the only student to ever hold the position for more than one year.
“I am honored have had this opportunity, advocating on behalf of my peers in in a time where college seems out of reach for so many. At the end of the day, all I care about are my peers and helping them reach their academic goals,” Adler said.
A handful of Adler’s most memorable contributions to the Pierce College community are her legislative work in Olympia fighting to ultimately end tuition increases and cuts to higher education, as well as expanding the use of technology across the campus and district. Adler also was a part of the Arts and Allied Health Building grand opening, which students donated more than $150,000 to help furnish and decorate the building. The theater and art hall can host a range of events for more diverse student interests.
After graduation this year Adler plans attend college at Washington State University or Central Washington University to pursue a degree in communications or political science. Currently, Adler plans to continue working part time as a bookkeeper for the Iron Workers District Council of the Pacific Northwest and has already signed on to consult on two different legislative campaigns.
Adler has come full circle since her first experiences coming to Pierce college and has refined her abilities to manage groups of individuals with different backgrounds and different personalities. She has learned how to better channel communication, understanding why people do things and where they come from.
“Essentially we (students) at Pierce College are all fighting the same battle,” Adler said. “The reason that we are here is because we understand without a degree we are limited. The people here want to achieve a better life and they know this is the first step.”
If anything, Adler’s experiences at Pierce College have only intensified her belief in the social welfare of people, she insists that we are in a time where college is becoming out of the reach of many. Adler believes that this should never be the case and higher education is a right regardless of age, gender, race or circumstance.
“I am very thankful to the Pierce College students for allowing me to serve them for the past three years, and I encourage everybody to stay on the educational path no matter how high the stakes are, because it does pay off.”
Adler will be giving a final speech at graduation in a similar fashion to the speech she gave last year, referencing song lyrics. She has new lyrics picked out to share this year, but she plans to keep it a surprise.
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